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1. The oasis

2. The town


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Comfort overdone

Douz, Tunisia

Photo: Thierry.

Douz, Tunisia

Photo: John Georgiou.

Douz, Tunisia

Douz, the largest of the oases in western Tunisia, is the most popular destination among the oases south of Chott el-Jerid. It also has all facilities, both for budget travellers and those willing to pay for comfort.
It is lively and friendly place, but honestly, it lacks the nice quarters found in oases further north, like Tozeur and Nefta.
Douz may appear artificial, there so many activities stage to please visitors that you may wonder which parts of the culture has been restyled.
Most of the week, Douz is a sleepy spot, where carpets and camel rides are pushed vigorously, but it comes radically alive with the Thursday market. This market is genuine enough, with livestock as the principal merchandise, but the atmosphere is destroyed by too many tourists (of which you are one) coming to see, looking for a couple of hours of bedouin life and some snap shots.
The dunes at the fringe of the palmeraie make great snap shots, and represents one of the few easy chances of seeing Sahara the way you imagined it, but it ends abruptly, with the sand ending in stone desert. Camel rides, with camping outdoors, could appear kitschy to some, but it is a great experience, and how would you get the real thing, anyway? Wait for a caravan passing by?

By Tore Kjeilen